preflop strategy poker quiz

Preflop Strategy Quiz: Only a Feared Grinder Will Get 9/10

Are you ready to challenge your preflop skills? Because these 10 questions aren’t meant to be easy!

Be sure you share your score at the end. Good luck!

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Question #1  True or False: You should never limp preflop

It is acceptable to limp behind other players who have limped when you have a hand that is too weak to raise but too strong to fold. Given that you are incentivized to call, it is worth taking the opportunity to limp behind with hands that play well in multiway pots, and which are capable of making big hands postflop.

On the other hand, limping as the first person to enter the pot (a.k.a., "open-limping") is almost never better than raising or folding, barring some sort of specific read on your opponent. (Also, open-limping from the small blind is an exception.)

Question #2  Which of these situations warrants the loosest preflop open-raising ranges?

With antes in play, there is more dead money in the pot to go after--usually around one extra big blind, depending on the size of the antes. So, you get a better price on your open-raises since you risk roughly the same amount to win a bigger pot.

Question #3 Fill in the blank: You should open raise to a ______ size when playing a game with antes, compared to a non-ante game.

(Assuming the same stack depth.)

Using a larger size prevents the other players--especially the big blind--from being offered great pot odds to call or 3-bet. Also, a larger size will help you avoid playing muti-way pots as the preflop raiser.

Question #4 Consider the following hand:

$0.50/$1 6-Max on PokerStars. $100 Effective Stacks.

Hero is on the button
2 folds. Cutoff raises to $2.5. Hero...

Which hand should Hero 3-bet for value most often?

AQs will tie or dominate all the Ax hands that the cutoff would have versus Hero's 3-bet, so it stands to win a bigger pot on average than 88 or KQs.

Note that KQs is also a good hand to frequently 3-bet for value button versus the cutoff, but AQs is just a bit better. Additionally, though 88 will usually play better as a call, 3-betting for value is a good adjustment to make if the cutoff open-raises and/or calls 3-bets too frequently. 

Question #5 Fill in the blank: When your stack decreases from 100bb to 40bb, you should usually 3-bet a _____ range of hands.

With the threat of a 4-bet shove looming, you should only 3-bet value hands that can comfortably call a shove, and bluffs that can easily fold to a shove. A linear 3-bet range would contain hands like QJs and AJo, which really do not want to face a shove.

Note that if you know the open-raiser is unlikely to 4-bet, mixing in more thin value 3-bets can be a good adjustment.

Question #6 Consider the following hand:

$0.25/$0.50 6-Max Online. $50 Effective Stacks.

Hero is in the big blind
3 folds. CO raises to $1.50. button folds. SB calls. Hero...

Which hand should Hero 3-bet squeeze with most often?

Both A2s and A9s block the strongest hands that the cutoff and small blind can have (AA, AK, AQ, AJ, etc.), but A2s is a better squeeze because it has better postflop playability and will force folds from better Ax hands than A9.

44 should almost never be 3-bet, here. It is a perfect hand to call and take a multi-way flop with.

Question #7 Consider the following hand:

$5/$10 Live. $1,200 Effective Stacks.

Hero is on the button
4 folds. HiJack raises to $30. cutoff folds. Hero...

Which hand should Hero flat call with most often?

QJs is strong enough hand flat call with not only because of its flush and straight potential, but also because it dominates some of the HiJack’s Qx and Jx hands. The HiJack’s continue range versus a 3-bet will contain many hands that dominate QJs and only a few worse ones, so 3-betting would be a mistake.

76s and A5s benefit from making better hands fold with a 3-bet. Although these hands will also be dominated fairly often after 3-betting and getting called, they have good equity and playability postflop versus a strong calling range. Also, they can also fold out better hands from the PFR’s range when we 3bet with them.

Question #8 Which of these factors is most important when choosing a preflop open-raise size in tournaments? 

(Assume 50bb deep with antes in play.)

If the player in the big blind is loose, it makes sense to use a larger raise size to worsen their pot odds on a call. Conversely, if the player in the big blind is very tight, it might be worth using a smaller raise size to improve your own pot odds.

Generally, you shouldn't vary your raise sizes based on position because the drawbacks usually outweigh the benefits (see this article for an in-depth explanation).

Varying your raise size based on your hand is almost never a good idea because it reveals too much information about your range early in the hand.

Question #9 Suppose you're playing $1/$2 online with $200 effective stacks.

You open-raise to $5 from the button and the small blind 3-bets to $19. You know the small blind is a regular, but have no specific reads or statistics.

Which hand should you 4-bet with most often?

A4s is a very good 4-bet candidate for a couple of reasons:

  • It blocks the top part of villain's calling range (AQ, AJs, ATs) and 5-bet range (AA, AK).
  • When called, it still has a lot of equity and playability. Even against a monster hand such as QQ (which, granted, might 5-bet shove), A4s has 33% equity.

64s is a somewhat reasonable hand to 4-bet, but it doesn't have nearly as much going for it as A4.

AJo is a perfect hand to flat call the 3-bet with.

Question #10 Consider the following tournament hand:

$109 Online Tournament. Blinds 500/1000/100. 47,000 effective stacks.

Hero is in the big blind
5 folds. Cutoff raises to 2,200. 2 folds. Hero...

Cutoff is a multi-tabling regular with an average preflop raise frequency and a slightly higher than average fold to 3-bet frequency. In response to these statistics, Hero decides to use a polarized 3-betting strategy, including value hands at the top of his range and bluffs at the bottom.

Which of these hands should Hero include in the bottom of his 3-betting range most often?

All 3 of these hands are getting a good enough price that they can profitably call, but 64s will have the most playability and be dominated least often in a 3-bet pot.

Get the free Preflop Guide with 8 preflop charts here >> 

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